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Only Five Mourners Allowed At Scarborough Crematorium

Only Five Mourners Allowed At Scarborough Crematorium

Published by Local Democracy Reporter Carl Gavaghan at 10:21am 23rd April 2020.

Scarborough Council has confirmed that just five mourners will be allowed to attend burials and cremations during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Since the start of the restrictions, Scarborough Council has allowed “immediate family” only to attend services at Woodlands Crematorium in Scarborough.

The waiting room, office and other public spaces at Woodlands have all been closed while services can be streamed live online for free for those who cannot attend.

Now, the authority has confirmed to the Local Democracy Reporting Service that just five people will now be allowed to attend services.

A council spokesman said:

“We have continued to keep the revised operating procedures at our crematorium chapel under review during the coronavirus pandemic.

After further consideration, we have decided to reduce the number of mourners who can attend burial and cremation services to five.

This will still enable immediate family members to say goodbye to their loved one.

It will also allow us to continue to help protect the health and wellbeing of everyone we deal with and our staff.

We have informed funeral directors and arrangers about the changes and we will continue to work with them to sensitively manage the needs of the bereaved. For services  booked before  April 17, we are honouring previous arrangements.”

Last week Public Health England (PHE) issued new guidance to councils about how to hold funeral services during the lockdown.

It followed concerns raised by members of the public about some councils taking heavy-handed approaches to funerals, with nearby York City Council at one point only allowing “direct cremations” with no mourners.

The new PHE guidance details where exceptions can be made to allow families and friends to attend funerals and say goodbye to loved ones.

The advice includes:

  • those who have symptoms of coronavirus COVID-19 must not attend and must stay at home
  • limiting the numbers in attendance to as low as possible to ensure safe social distancing. Numbers can be determined by the size and circumstance of the venue
  • observing social distancing guidance across all aspects of attending a funeral
  • people who are extremely clinically vulnerable (shielded) can attend with measures put in place to reduce their risk
  • people self-isolating because someone in their household is ill may attend if they do not have symptoms themselves

Professor Paul Cosford, Public Health England’s emeritus medical director, said:

“Every death is a tragedy and it’s important that family and friends can mourn as they need to.

This revised guidance strikes a careful balance between our need to mark the life of a loved one when we are bereaved and minimising the risk of spreading coronavirus infection.”




There are 4 comments on this page.

zara, on 23rd April 2020 10:59am
so SBC are limiting the family members who can attend? How do you select which five if you have a large family? Sorry SBC this is ridiculous, it should be immediate family full stop not just an arbitrary number they came up with. There is plenty of space to safely have more than five attending. Give them a little power and it definitely goes to their head.
Whitbyman, on 23rd April 2020 11:35am
Yes let’s have large gatherings at funerals it’s really sensible and the best way to stop the virus and minimise the number of deaths , the stupidity of some people is staggering but then some fools never miss a chance to council bash no matter how stupid the reason and it really is insulting to frontline council staff to expect them to put themselves at risk day in day out , which bit of stay home save lives is it you don’t get ?
Brian Ward, on 24th April 2020 7:50am
I think there needs to be a balance, it’s not about a large gathering of people, but it is about immediate family members, some families are larger in numbers than others. So rather than putting a fixed figure on it, Grand parents, Parents and siblings should be able to attend, dependant on underlying health conditions, age and individual choice.
zara, on 24th April 2020 9:33am
Thank you Brian, that is exactly the point i was trying to make but then some commentators target the person making the comment not the actual comment itself.

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